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St. Cyril of Jerusalem Catholic Church

Jamison, PA

(16'h x 5'5"w)ea.

In the selection and use of religious art in the new St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church in Jamison, Pennsylvania, the pastor and congregation decided to incorporate historic and contemporary artwork in a gesture that would represent the culture of Catholicism, particularly as it has developed in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The stained glass proved to be an especially effective portrayal of this theme: the mix of historic and contemporary windows presents a micro-history of Catholic stained glass from the late 19th through the 21st centuries and documents at first the use of windows made in Europe, particularly Germany, and then the changeover to the use of windows made in the United States, particularly Philadelphia and vicinity.

In addition to the restoration and adaptive reuse of the historic windows for St. Cyril Church, Beyer Studio was invited to design new windows for the main sanctuary of the church and to create a rose window for the daily Mass chapel that would visually complete a suite of historic windows.

In the main sanctuary, the six tall windows and central altar rose window at the new St. Cyril of Jerusalem of Church created a natural format for depicting Creation. The congregation wanted the theme expressed in abstract gestures that would inspire meditation on the theme and personal reflection. Within the geometry of the frame structures, each day of creation is expressed through color and organic forms. As the chronology progresses, order is imposed upon the forces of nature. Out of the movement of line and chords of color, floral and faunal and human shapes emerge. In the bottom section of each vertical window and around the circumference of the rose, the verbatim text of Genesis is inscribed in vitreous glass paint, a decorative element that invites the congregation members to approach the windows and read the Scriptural references and examine the windows closely.